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Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: Grevesmühlen incident presents itself differently

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: Grevesmühlen incident presents itself differently
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: Grevesmühlen incident presents itself differently

An incident involving two children from Ghana has caused outrage across the country and fueled the debate about racism. But investigators now see the course of events differently.

The incident involving two girls from Ghana in Grevesmühlen, Mecklenburg, now appears to investigators to be different from what was initially described. After evaluating video recordings, the Rostock Police Headquarters announced: “According to the current status of the investigation, the eight-year-old girl did not suffer any physical injuries that would indicate the crime described in the initial report.”

The police initially reported that the sisters had been attacked, and that the younger one had been kicked in the face, among other things. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Interior Minister Christian Pegel (SPD) responded on Saturday: “You don’t attack people, especially not children, and certainly not for racist reasons.”

The case sparked outrage across the country and fueled the debate about racism. The Green Party parliamentary group called on the federal and state interior ministers to address measures against racist violence at their spring conference this week.

Outstretched foot and xenophobic insult

The child had been out and about in the Mecklenburg town with her ten-year-old sister on Friday evening. Investigators announced on Monday evening that, according to the current state of the investigation, the eight-year-old wanted to ride past a young person on her scooter. “The young person apparently blocked the girl’s path with his outstretched leg and hit her with the tip of his foot.” At that time, a large group of young people were in the area. The children then turned to their parents, frightened and crying.

The parents wanted to confront the teenagers, the police said. This led to verbal and physical altercations. “Xenophobic insults were also expressed.” The police initially reported that the eight-year-old child and the father had been slightly injured. A police spokeswoman now said that the girl was physically unharmed and that the information about the father had not changed.

The ten-person investigative team, led by the police’s state security department responsible for political crimes, had asked the public for information. The police then received photos and videos, among other things. The investigation is ongoing, it was said. The girls’ father told “Bild” that he and his family did not want to be driven out of the city. “We have lived in Grevesmühlen since 2016, we are staying here,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Issue to be discussed at the Conference of Interior Ministers

Based on the initial information, the parliamentary secretary of the Greens in the Bundestag, Irene Mihalic, told the German Press Agency: “The abhorrent racist and cowardly attack by a large group of people on two Ghanaian children in Grevesmühlen must not go unpunished.” The Conference of Interior Ministers is called upon to deal with the necessary consequences. “Such an attack can encourage follow-up acts and, moreover, have devastating effects on the sense of security of black and migrant children and young people in Germany.”

The interior ministers of the federal and state governments are meeting for consultations in Potsdam this Wednesday. Their three-day meeting will address issues such as civil protection, European asylum policy and deportations. According to preliminary figures, in the first quarter of this year the police counted 46 right-wing motivated acts of violence nationwide in which racism played a role. Eight of these crimes were registered in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Right-wing extremism researcher observes escalating disinhibition

Based on the initial information, the director of the Center of Excellence for Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research at the University of Leipzig, Oliver Decker, saw a connection with the European elections on June 9, in which the AfD received the most votes in all of the eastern German states. He explained: “If I suspect that the norm of condemning violence no longer applies in my environment, then I can give in to the need.” In this case, this means giving free rein to one’s own resentment, even to the point of using violence. Voting for the AfD is already “a sign of radicalization,” he added.

In recent weeks, several incidents have made headlines in which revelers at folk festivals and private parties were caught chanting racist songs. Due to right-wing extremist slogans and inflammatory shouting, there were two police operations in Saarland on Saturday night.

Source: Stern

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